Coney Island


Back in the 80's, I first saw Coney Island in Davao City in the Philippines. It was not even an island. It was an ice cream store, long since closed. The name stuck in my young mind, associating it with creamy goodness. Fast forward many years later, I'm standing right at where that name was borrowed from, right here at Coney Island in the southernmost tip of Brooklyn, New York.



Coney Island isn't about ice cream as it is about Nathan's Hot Dogs but I feel it's part of the picture. After all, Coney Island is the quintessential quick summer escape for many New Yorkers. It's a mere subway ride from Manhattan. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, visitors fill the beach, the boardwalk and of course, the amusements rides. There are freak shows, games and greasy food everywhere. It's all about having fun and having good times. Coney Island has always been associated with recreation ever since the first carousel was built in 1876.

However, Coney Island's reputation as an amusement mecca has had its ups and downs just like the roller coaster rides. It was the largest amusement park in the United States from the 1880's up until the 1940's, comprising several big independent parks many of which are now gone after a long battle with city rezoning. Of the few remaining big rides available today, two literally stand out: The Cyclone, a rickety wooden roller coaster built in 1927 and now considered a National Historic Landmark, and Deno's Wonder Wheel, a huge ferris wheel from 1920 which was given an official New York City Landmark status in 1989.


With rezoning plans for residential and hotel projects still in the horizon, the future of Coney Island's amusement side is still uncertain. Historic as it is, I certainly want Coney Island to be preserved and protected to ensure future generations will still have a space for accessible recreation. For now, New Yorkers continue to patronize what's left of it while others reminisce the old days of their childhood visits to this iconic park. I was once young when I saw Coney Island back in the Philippines, and I remember it through the cone of an ice cream more than two decades ago.


  1. That's one of the places we missed. Do you come here often?

  2. The first photo is amazing. Never saw something like that. It's like it's going to collapse if plenty of people walked on there at the same time. =)

  3. hi dens,

    i jst dont enjoy the vividness of your shots, i as well enjoy learning from u.

    so ice cream and hotdog does really come together in coney island huh'..the scene's quite familiar in American TV' en movie, but this is the first time i saw i blog about the same..

    i should check that one on Davao when i get there. rgds

  4. but then again its synonymous to amusement park, yeah?

  5. Hi Photo Cache,
    This was actually my first visit ever. I'm going back next time to try the roller coaster.

    Hi Witsandnuts,
    The boardwalk is perfect for people watching - thankfully, it wasn't threatened to collapse with so many people there.

    Hi Josh,
    Sarado na yung tindahan sa Davao. As a historic amusement park, Coney island deserves to be saved.

  6. You were having fun! Ganda ng mga kuha mo. Teka, nakita mo ba si Miss Olga Hess? Headless ba talaga siya? hehehe

  7. i'm not sure but i think this coney island was featured in a sandra bullock movie called two weeks notice opposite hugh grant.
    you've got awesome pictures! i'm a kid-at-heart and likes fairs of all kind. :D

  8. Hey, I think I've been here 7 years ago. Nice place because they also have restaurants where you can just drink and watch people pass by or gallivant/play/sunbathe on the beach. Hirap lang ng parking across the street no? Or am I talking about the same beach? Hehe.

  9. Hi Redlan,
    No, hindi ako nanood ng mga freak shows. Baka mag-freak-out ako ha ha!

    Hi Docgelo,
    I don't really know although several movies and episodes of the Sopranos were shot there.

    Hi Abaniko,
    There are other beaches around but most likely baka dito rin kayo nagpunta. Mahirap mag-park kata almost everyoone goes via subway.

  10. If I remember it right, there was a PBA team named Coney Island. I was young them so I cud not really remember but just like you, I associate CI with ice cream.

  11. Anonymous11:36:00 PM

    It's funny...my little sister used to be a "spokesmodel" for Coney Island ice cream in Manila (about 1980). She didn't get paid much, but got lots of coupons for free cones - which made her very popular with her schoolmates!


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